Saturday, March 20, 2010

Confusing as S***

Ok, don't get all upset that I just used a "cuss word" in my title - I can explain... plus, I only hinted at what it was. How do you know it isn't suit, or sick, or slit? Just saying you shouldn't assume anything. Anyways, I use the title because that's what the person I was talking God stuff with used when the Trinity came up - that's just how confusing it is! I readily agreed with him because, while I may have chosen some other verbiage, I find it about that confusing as well. The conversation I got into with this very bright young atheist was pretty profound. We went all across the board and I wanted to be available for any question he had, and hopefully did a decent job at explaining things too. It was the second talk we had gotten into in the past month about God, but this one was much more about the good news of Jesus and what God is all about, whereas the first conversation was a bit more philosophical about whether God could actually exist.

We talked about all kinds of good stuff: how some parents manipulate young children into making them "become Christians" when maybe they just scare them into repeating meaningless words, about the role of giving money and why that can be an act of gratitude and faith for a Christian do to so, about how in every church you have people who are fooling themselves into thinking their attendance gets them an "in" with God, about how God might call you into something really crazy like giving up a high paying job to be a missionary or inner-city school teacher but at the same time it will always be worth the risk because it is the path for the deepest joy with God for those people, about how God is the happiest being in the world and is definitely not a prude, and a slew of other things. That last sentence may have been one of the longest run on sentences I've ever typed, but it was worth it! It was a very enjoyable conversation and this guy asks very insightful questions that help me put into words what I believe and what the Bible tells us about God.

We also talked about the cross and how through the cross God forgives our sin - our all out rebellion against his name and character. I literally could sense God bringing Aslan, yes the Aslan from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, to my mind and used his death in Peter's place (it was Peter, right?) as an example of the Gospel. Because God is just, someone will pay for sin - either we will as individuals pay for our guilt before God or Christ will as we receive that gift by grace through faith. I'm not sure I worded it all right, but the point of it all is that we really conversed about God. It was casual and comfortable (at least it felt that way to me) but was also honest and covered some hard stuff. One thing I learned from the conversation was this: always make sure you are honest - when you don't get something, don't pretend you do. When you think something is a good point someone makes and want to think more about it, say so. If you don't, you will probably come off as arrogant and stupid all at the same time.

I thank God for my friend who I was able to talk with the other night and look forward to more discussions. Like I told him at the end of our 90 minute conversation, we've only scratched the surface.

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